Patient who nearly died from food poisoning fronts campaign to raise £20k for St Mark’s Hospital
- Credit: Archant
A patient with an incurable bowel illness is fronting a campaign to raise £20,000 for the Sudbury hospital she says has saved her life.
Nancy Fahmy, who has intestinal failure and is fed through a tube, is leading the campaign for St Mark’s Hospital Foundation, based in Watford Road, and the vital work it does in researching bowel diseases.
The 37-year-old, who lives in Stanmore, became ill after getting food poisoning at her 28th birthday meal nine years ago and credits her life to staff and their pioneering work at the hospital.
She said: “If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here now. They literally saved my life. You can never repay somebody for saving your life. If I can give back a little of what they’ve done for me and raise awareness of what they do to have an impact on just one person’s life that is good for me.”
Ms Fahmy was initially diagnosed with Chrone’s Disease but her weight continued to plummet from a healthy nine stone to just five.
In 2011 she was admitted to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, but was quickly referred to St Mark’s Intestinal Failure Unit, located within Northwick Park Hospital.
She is kept alive by Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN), where she is fed artificial nutrition through the tube that goes into the veins of her heart which allows her to stay hydrated and receive the calories, nutrients and vitamins she needs to survive.
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She added: “My stomach and bowel doesn’t work and doesn’t know how to digest food.
“I have a silicon implant in my chest, a bit like Iron Man but mine doesn’t light up. The silicon is piercable so I every day I stick a needle into the implant with the feed attached to the end of it. I’m attached to it for 12-14 hours a day. I carry the bag in a rucksack or it’s attached to the back of my wheelchair if I’m too tired to walk. Sometimes I do it at night but the constant beeping keeps me awake. I’ve put weight back on though, now I’m seven stone.”
The former part-time DJ, has developed arthritis in her hands and will soon need a nurse to help her. She said: “Menial things like brushing my teeth, putting on mascara, has become harder, sticking my needle in my feed has become a struggle as it requires pressure.”
However, not one to dwell on her difficulties, she added: “They are an amazing bunch of people at St Marks and people don’t realise what they do. I did superhero run for them in 2014, some of it in a wheelchair, and I give talks. It hasn’t been easy but you have to have a positive attitude. It won’t cure you but does help you.”
To support Nancy and donate go to stmarkshospitalfoundation.org.uk/donate/